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City Government

Mayor James White Crooks

Portrait of Mayor James White CrooksJames White Crooks graduated from the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1885 and spent some time living in West Duluth before moving to Port Arthur in May 1886. It did not take long for Crooks to establish his own drugstore in 1891, and in 1895, he went into partnership with T. S. T. Smellie. Crooks soon became the manager of drug stores in both Port Arthur and Fort William, and purchased Clarke’s historic store in 1903. In February 1909, he was the sole owner of these businesses.

Crooks was acclaimed Mayor of Port Arthur in 1924 and served two terms in office. As Mayor, he was notably frugal. The City was in a difficult financial situation, and Crooks was reluctant to spend any money in hopes of rectifying it. As the City began showing signs of economic improvement in 1925, newer and younger politicians, such as Milton Francis, became more popular as they were willing to be more generous with the City’s finances.

Crooks retired from the pharmacy business in the fall of 1935, while the family pharmacy continued to run under his son and grandson. In 1986, Shopper’s Drug Mart purchased the Crooks family drugstore.

Born: Feb. 3, 1866 in Woodstock, Oxford County, Ontario
Died: Sept. 4, 1944 in St. Petersburg, Florida
Councillor: 1920-1923
Mayor: 1924-1925


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